Prior to Monster Hunter World, I had never been remotely interested in playing the game at all. I always found it to be an interesting concept but not one that I could see myself devoting time and energy to. Hunting monsters aka dinosaurs? Nah. I’ll pass. That was the immature me talking a few years ago. Things change. As I’ve gotten older and I’ve expanded my gaming palette and I’ve come to realize that unconventional or at least what I perceived to be unconventional isn’t always a bad thing. In the case of Monster Hunter World it was a good thing and sometimes you don’t know it until you actually get involved. I feel bad that I haven’t played these games sooner.

Monster Hunter World

The desire to suddenly play Monster Hunter World came from watching a young kid on a train ride home playing Monster Hunter Stories for the 3DS. I had no clue what he was playing but it was loud and the game looked really cool. I watched for a little while and as soon as I got home I bought it for my 3DS. Monster Hunter Stories was unusual and different from the “adult” games that I normally play but I based that solely on the looks of the game. Once I bought it and played for myself, I realized that underneath all of that cuteness was a game of sophisticated structure with a variety of different tasks, quests, subquests, genealogy, monster collecting, etc. This is what piqued my interest in Monster Hunter World. I wondered if the “adult” version of the game was similar in how it played. I bought Monster Hunter World and I’ve been playing it for 2 weeks and I’m reminded right away that these games are similar only in name and Monster Hunter World is an endeavor that is exciting to be a part of whether you’re a seasoned player or a newb like me. My experience with MHW makes me not want to play Destiny again or at least not for a long while. I’m now about 2 weeks in with Monster Hunter World and I’ll never overlook a Monster Hunter game again.

Monster Hunter World Map

Monster Hunter World is a very engaging game just like Destiny but very different. Where Destiny plots out points on a map in a direct linear fashion, MHW feels a bit more like open experience even though you’re confined to 5 areas. As a member of the Fifth Fleet you’re on a team filled with all variety of scientist. It’s a collective of smart people and hunters who go out into the world to study, capture and hunt monsters in order to understand the world and keep its balance while not allowing human extinction to take place. At least that’s my understanding of the very weird story. Not to mention there’s a big bad ass molten lava Godzilla size monster threatening to ruin the world that should also motivate you. So basically you go out into the world and collect stuff, kill monsters, craft weapons, craft armor, rinse and repeat. That’s the ebb and flow of MHW.

There’s so much to do and it’s important you do it

As you get into your first 30 minutes or so, you realize just from looking at the menu that there is so much to do in this game. When you walk around the HQ you get a sense that whatever the goals are for this game, It’ll require a lot of work. Right away, you need to get you initial hunter weapon and armor kit together and head out into the world. There are no freebies here. Everything is earned. Here is what I learned and realized that I had to do to stay alive in MHW

Missions – When you’re ready take on a quest you look on the quest boards at the HQ or find your handler and you’ll see the most recent quest based on the whatever point you’ve reached in the story, the monster and how that monster affects the story. These are your Assigned quests. There are also Expeditions, Optional, Investigation and SOS quests which are mostly side and online quests but I’ll get back to that. As far as assigned quests, you can do them at any given time, the world in MHW does allow for some freelance collection and exploration so if you want to get your bearings and feel for the controls first, you can. The main story however, progresses for the most part as a result of doing assigned missions and your HR or Hunter Rank increases because of assigned missions. So, assigned missions are of the utmost importance if the story is what you wish to conquer.

Monsters – Understanding that each monster is different is the key to understanding this game. Monsters in this game are unforgiving and they will kill you easily, they don’t hold back either. It’s a fight once you decide to engage. Too many times early in this game I interacted with a monster that I shouldn’t have only to get annihilated by that monster because I didn’t have the HR or the accompanying weapons or armor to match. I haven’t gotten too far in the game and I’m quite sure I haven’t seen the worst of the monsters just yet BUT I can say I’ve encountered a Rathalos and an Anjanath way too early for my liking and I engaged thinking I would be successful only to realize how much I underestimated the power of the monsters in this game and their attributes whether it be elemental, poisonous or just brute force power. Having the right armor and weapon is key. Even if you have that some monsters are really powerful and you’ll have to call out for help.

Weapons & Armor – If you were to just take a look at the Smithy’s kiosk you’ll see the vast number of weapons that can be forged and upgraded. There are 14 total weapons to choose from each with their own attributes and strengths. Elements can be added to any weapon depending on where on the forge tree it falls in conjunction with the monster you’ve killed. The same is applicable to armor sets. The greater the variety of monsters you kill, a corresponding weapon and armor slot becomes available to make weapons based on that monster. So, in other words, kill a Rathian and get Rathian parts to make Rathian weapons or Rathian armor.

Forge new weapons and armor often. Especially armor. You’ll find out right away when you get into fighting the higher ranked monsters and that weapons and armor have little to no effect on them. Forge often. Mix and match your armor. Armor sets are cool but they won’t get the job done because they all have distinct disadvantages. I found it best to wear pieces that cover each element so that way you can be fully protected or at least better protected.

Extra missions and Online – I mentioned Assigned missions earlier, those are primarily for story progression. If you want to run some additional missions for extra Zenny and monster parts then Expeditions, SOS calls, Investigations and Optional quests are a must. You won’t get far in this game if you stick to the story alone. I implore you to do as many of these as you can even if you have to forego doing the story for a few days. That’s what I have been doing and I’ve gradually done assigned missions, but joining a quest, or answering an SOS will reap tremendous benefit. Tag along on a quest or another event with stronger players and take advantage. I’ve completed many events piggybacking off of stronger players. Why not? Do everything you can possibly do because there’s always something to do in MHW.

Crafting and Eating – The most important element of the game. Crafting is the number one thing that must be done consistently to keep items in your item box for survival. The weapons, items and armor you craft will give you overall preparedness for quests, arenas or any task at hand. Crafting comes from your character, the Captain, the Botanist, Smithy, Elder melder, etc. All vital to your success in defeating monsters in this game.

Eating before every mission is critical to being effective in monster battles. Like I said before the monsters in this game are unforgiving and any advantage you can use to avoiding fainting often will be necessary. Eating before each battle raises your stats depending on your meal of choice. If you go into a battle without some perk to your health and stamina (Stamina especially) you’ll faint and faint often and this game will frustrate you more than a little bit.

Use your Hunter’s Guide – I made myself aware of the Hunter’s Guide after I realized that hunting for footprints, mucus, feathers, etc, all end up back in this book to aid you in your searches later on in the game. It’s makes hunting for these monsters so much easier by detailing not only their physical location but their respective elemental weaknesses and physical ones. It makes sure you’re aware of the proper weaponry needed when going into a battle with any monster that you’ve done your research on. USE THIS BOOK.

Level up your Palico – Your Palico will aid you in monster fights by either distracting whatever monster you’re fighting or healing you. Your Palico is essential and later on in the game you’ll find more of them and they’ll be a tremendous help. I won’t tell you why but don’t ignore your Palico. He’s more than just a tag-a-along.

Things I just didn’t like

Monster Hunter World is well on its way to being a game of the year. No question about it. With so much do and so many monsters to hunt there wouldn’t appear to be anything to not like. Wrong. There are things about MHW that are frustrating. The good thing is, the issues within the game are very fixable. If Capcom can put out updates in a timely fashion the annoyances of the game will be gone. Since they still exist at the moment here are the things I don’t like about MHW.

The UI
– Monster Hunter World’s UI is a clusterfuck to navigate through (In my opinion). Simple and plain. Over time you get used to it but that doesn’t make it a good thing and that doesn’t make it any easier to use. There are a ton of options, menus and submenus and it can get confusing at times even for the seasoned player. I find it to be the most annoying when you’re locked into a battle. Trying to use your whetstone or heal will get you killed in this game. Yes, there are shortcuts that are supposed to help alleviate that time spent using items but it doesn’t help that much.

So much s–t to collect – This is good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing because it allows you to create some great weapons and armor but it can be a big pain in the ass when you spend hours collecting and farming only to get back to Smithy and realize you’ve collected everything except for what you need. While you can track what you collect for certain items you wish to craft. Farming sucks and having to collect so many different things can really suck sometimes.

Monsters are hard – I will express this again. The monsters are hard. They’re no joke. Yes, as you progress you’ll be able to take on a monster by yourself but even if you’ve leveled up far beyond a low rank monster, killing one is still an arduous task. Maybe, it’s just me but more often than not, I find that I have to send out SOS flares or join a group of 4 to defeat a monster. There are advantages and disadvantages to doing that. The disadvantages however outweigh the advantages. Group battles mean that monsters are now exponentially harder, understandable but damn. Group lives are now singular at three faints per team. Yes, per team. That’s 12 faints in total whittled down to 3 faints. Come on Capcom, meet us in the middle and make it 5 not specific to certain events but overall IF there’s a team of 4 at the very least. WTF, is 3 faints for an entire team against a monster that can poison you, run over you, fireball you, tail whip you and use an elemental attack on you and faint you fairly easily? Three faints and all that work we did just to get monster parts let alone kill the monster is negated if we faint three times? No good Capcom. Fix it.

Multiplayer is a pain in the ass – I won’t elaborate on this too much. Multiplayer no matter what game you’re playing is a pain in the ass at times. MHW is no different.

Monster Hunter World made me leave Destiny 2 behind…for now

Although all of my time in the last two weeks has been consumed with MHW it doesn’t mean that I don’t love Destiny anymore. I do. It’s still one of my favorite games hands down but what Destiny gets wrong Monster Hunter gets right for the most part. Monster Hunter World makes you feel as if the work you put in and the hours you dedicate pay off when you can finally craft that weapon or armor piece you wanted. Destiny expects you to partake in a never ending grind and you’re left feeling as if you got nothing out of that grind. Everything you do in MHW feels cohesive (Bullshit story aside) and doesn’t feel as if you’re playing the game,collecting items and crafting weapons for an objective that isn’t relatable to the story or just flat out doesn’t make any sense. What you do affects the story. It’s an action RPG at its core. This game is easily a game of the year candidate this early into 2018. If Capcom plays this right and keeps the player busy with timely, meaningful and content loaded updates with new maps and monsters and hopefully make it free, then there’s no reason that you can’t play Monster Hunter World all year. After all, Rockstar is still putting out meaningful updates years later for GTA V so if it can work there it can work here.

I can’t help but recommend that you play Monster Hunter World just for gaming sake but keep in mind this type of game is NOT for everyone. It’s for the meticulous gamer. It’s for the gamer that loves the grind and the gamer that doesn’t mind a little repetition. It’s for the gamer that relishes in the difficulty this game possesses and the frustration it will surely bring for a variety of different reasons (combat being one of them). Sound like you? Good. Get this game. If not, then 2018 looks to be a good year for games and it’s starting off pretty good.

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